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SCMP: Evicted tribes return to Bakun Dam site
By Ian Stewart
7/3/2001 10:10 am Wed
[Sejak Bakun dihentikan, ramai suku kaum Asli (60 keluarga) telah
kembali ke tanah asal mereka di situ untuk menempat semula. Tetapi dengan
kerajaan menyambung semula projek Bakun, nasib dan masa depan kaum asli
semakin pudarlah nampaknya. Bilangan yang sama inilah juga yang tidak
mengambil pampasan kerana ia tidak setara dan sebab-sebab lain yang
tidak mengizinkan mereka menerima. Kini mereka bukan sahaja akan hilang
tanah turun temurun, tetapi sungai dan rimba yang menjadi sumber mata
Kerajaan lebih mementingkan kemajuan dan hidup orang lain dari hidup rakyat
marhaen. Sepatutnya isu Kerpan mengajar kerajaan BN lebih berwaspada -
malangnya BN masih tidak faham-faham juga. Bukankah banyak penyokong Umno
sudahpun tiada di Kedah? Apakah BN tidak takut Bakun bakal mencetus
kebangkitan di Malaysia Timur pula untuk mengnyahkan BN seteruk-teruknya?
6th March 2001
Evicted tribes return to Bakun Dam site
IAN STEWART in Kuala Lumpur
Indigenous people who refused to abandon their ancestral land to
make way for the controversial Bakun Dam hydroelectric project have
been joined by other tribal groups unhappy with conditions in the
Sarawak State Government's resettlement area.
They face an uncertain future since the federal cabinet decided last
week to proceed with the scheme, which was shelved in 1997 when the
Malaysian economy began to slide into recession. Although the
Government had been expected to build a smaller dam, it has now opted
for the original full-scale version. An area the size of Singapore,
once home to around 10,000 farmers and fishermen, will be flooded.
Despite the fact the project was on hold, the state Government went
ahead with the resettlement of residents, virtually all of whom were
moved into housing units at Sungai Asap, 30km from Bakun. About 60
families chose not to take up the offer of relocation and payment of
Since the resettlement exercise was completed in July, 1999, a steady
trickle of indigenous people have been returning to the Bakun region.
A member of the Coalition of Non-Government Organisations Against the
Bakun Dam said three separate groups of 60 or more families, numbering
several hundred people, had returned. Some of them had built new homes
at the edge of the territory, regarded as ancestral land, where they
will probably not be reached by the dam waters.
Others are living closer to the dam site and are in danger of losing
their homes, but plan to stay until they are forced back by the
The Government is apparently taking no action against them. James
Masing, chairman of the Bakun Resettlement Committee, said they would
eventually have to go, as their homes would be submerged.
Thomas Jalong, adviser to the Bakun Region People's Action Committee,
said after visiting Sungai Asap that people were facing numerous
problems. He said many people were jobless and had been denied fair
and full compensation.
Mr Masing said there were plenty of jobs in plantations, but the Bakun
people were not keen to take them.